Thursday, September 10, 2009

Google: A Goldmine of Genealogy Gems

Lisa Louise Cooke Lisa Louise Cooke - “Google: A Goldmine of Genealogy Gems” – Fri., 28 August 2009, 10:00AM.

[No microphone. Class is absolutely full!]
She lives about an hour north of Mountain View, Google HQ. You need to have a Google account to use all the tools. Free.
Register at At Google, check upper-right corner for sign-in/sign-out.
Once registered, you can create your own Google home page called iGoogle. You want a place to begin your research.
If you make Google your home page, then it is easy to get there. Not only is it displayed when opening your browser, your browser has a home icon.
Now, populate iGoogle with genealogy gadgets. Near upper-right, click Add Stuff. Search for “gadgets genealogy”.
Some gadgets: search, search. Organize iGoogle by drag and drop title bar of gadgets.
Each gadget has a menu. One item is Delete this gadget. Like windows, can minimize. Can change background; it is called theme.
Lisa likes Spring Scape. Reflects time of day using your zip code. The characters change. Lisa does Podcasts; like radio shows.  and
Podcasts and blogs are a source of genealogy news and learning. Both can be added to iGoogle.
Some have an Add to Google button. Can also use the Search for Gadgets to find one. In iGoogle, click article title to access.
Click gadget title to go to the web site. For podcasts, article link goes to show notes. Then click play button on embedded media.
If there is no Add to Google button, look for orange square icon. Blogs and podcasts add an educational component to iGoogle.
No one is using American Memories? Gosh! You'll want to write that down. Not in your notes.
Told story of using American Memories to find sheet music that connected her to an ancestors. Upcoming podcast has LOC genealogy head.
Organize your iGoogle page. Same kind of gadgets together: search, education, tools. Tour of Lisa's page: American Memory,,
..., FamilySearch, sticky notes, slide show, blogs, age calculator, bookmarks (favorites), non-genealogy stuff(believe it or not).
Next Google tool: Google Alerts. Get a gmail account and add it to your iGoogle page.
[It's practically impossible to find otherwise.] Make Google do the work. Enter a Google Search to be informed of new web pages.
Use Comprehensive. Lisa likes Once a Day.
Q. Do you have to use gmail?
A. No. But gmail can go on your iGoogle page.
Q. How do you get around getting too many results?
A. Not covering that today. You need to learn about operators.
If you sign up for my newsletter, you'll get a free thank you gift, a 20 page handout with Google search strategies.
Q. Can you have more than 1 gmail account?
A. Yes. I have 5.
Last time I checked, you can have 1000 alerts. Set up alerts for unique surnames, towns,
..., counties, businesses, etc. Lisa has pages and pages of alerts. Even alerts on her own name.
To review this session, see season 1, episode 15. Next session [11:30] covering iGoogle tabs.
[Now interviewing a class member for a podcast.]

This article is one in a series of session reports from the recent 2009 Salt Lake City Family History Expo taken from my live tweets of the event. Please see my Tweeting Presentations Policy for further information, including the formatting guidelines I attempt to follow and instructions for correcting errors. Additions are in italics.

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